MATTHEW 20: 1-16 GOSPEL READING AND REFLECTION (AUGUST 19, 2020)
This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven: A land-owner went out early in the morning, to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay each worker the usual daily wage, and sent them to his vineyard.
He went out again, at about nine in the morning, and, seeing others idle in the town square, he said to them. “You also go to my vineyard, and I will pay you what is just. So they went.
The owner went out at midday, and, again at three in the afternoon, and he made the same offer. Again he went out, at the last working hour- the eleventh and he saw others standing around. So he said to them, ‘why do you stand idle the whole day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ The master said, ‘Go, and work in my vineyard.“
When evening came the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wage, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ Those who had gone to work at the eleventh hour came up, and were each given a silver coin. When it was the turn of the first, they thought they would receive more. But they, too, received one silver coin. On receiving it, they began to grumble against the landowner.
They said, ‘These last, hardly worked an hour; yet, you have treated them the same as us, who have endured the heavy work of the day and the heat. ‘The owner said to one of them, ’Friend, I have not been unjust to you. Did you not agree on one silver coin per day? So, take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last the same as I give to you. Don’t have the right to as I please with what is mine? Why are you envious when I am kind?’
So will lit be: the last will be first, the first will be last.”
POINTS OF REFLECTION
The vineyard in this gospel reading resembles the kingdom in heaven from which all are part of. The Landowner is the Father Almighty. This passage is not telling us that the Father is the boss, instead a father of the family treating all as siblings.
When the evening came for the landowner to give the worker’s pay, all received the same amount, “a silver coin”, regardless of the time of actual work done. The scenario is not to be understood in the relationship between the boss and an ordinary worker but more of being the Father (God) and the Son (workers) relationship. The Father always gives enough food for His siblings regardless of the nature and amount of work he is doing in a single day. Being the son of the Father who is in heaven, all are assured of His everlasting bounty.
An invitation by the landowner at varying times reminded us that today is enough for one to be saved on judgement day. Invited may happen to be the first, just now and the last but regardless of when all will receive the same and equal reward in the Father’s house in heaven. Just do not mind how others became Christians by way of comparison, after all, God knows what everyone really deserves towards the end of time.
Let us be reminded, that our response to God has nothing to do with our human feelings and understanding of others but instead it is about our godly feeling and consideration to others as all enjoin the cause of salvation in union with Christ and to the Father in heaven.
Brothers and sisters, God is always on his way looking for all of us. He is not mindful of the time for us to respond but today really matters. Now is the right time to respond to God’s calling. Think about this. God is just a prayer away.